Ravichandran Ashwin Surpasses Kapil Dev To Become India’s 2nd Highest Wicket-taker In Test Cricket


India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday surpassed the legendary Kapil Dev’s haul of 434 wickets to become India second-highest wicket taker in Test cricket. Ashwin went past Kapil when he picked up the wicket of Charith Asalanka, his third of the second innings in Mohali in the 1st Test against Sri Lanka, as India closed in on a big win. He had earlier tied Kapil’s tally when he sent back Pathum Nissanka.

Next in sight for Ashwin will be South African great Dale Steyn, who ended his career with 439 wickets. He won’t be able to surpass Steyn in this match though and will remain the 9th highest wicket-taker in Test cricket for now.

One of the contemporary greats, Ashwin achieved the feat in his 85th Test match compared to Kapil’s 131 games. While the generations and the conditions between the times of Kapil and Ashwin can’t be compared and more so because they possessed different skill-sets but, based on pure numbers, the Tamil Nadu man’s achievement is phenomenal.

After Rohit Sharma asked Sri Lanka to follow-on after dismissing them for 174, 400 runs adrift of India’s first-innings score of 574 for eight, the visitors were in trouble again after Lahiru Thirimanne became Ashwin’s 433rd victim.

Post lunch, it was first-innings half-centurion Pathum Nissanka whose outside edge to a delivery that didn’t turn much, was snapped by Rishabh Pant to complete a memorable feat for Ashwin.

In between, Mohammed Shami got Dimuth Karunaratne (27) to edge one to Pant, who took a low diving catch while Ravindra Jadeja got his sixth scalp of the game by removing Dhananjaya de Silva (30).

Angelo Mathews (27 batting) and Charith Asalanka (20 batting) hit some lusty blows to entertain the Sunday crowd.

Earlier, Jadeja’s superb all-round show helped the hosts end Sri Lanka’s first innings at 174 in the first session.

Virat Kohli’s 100th Test and Rohit Sharma’s first game as skipper is turning out to be Jadeja’s match as his 5 for 41 in 13 overs had the islanders crashing in just 45 overs.

Worse, Sri Lanka lost six wickets for 13 runs as they were 161 for four after the first hour, with Pathum Nissanka (61 no off 133 balls) and Charith Asalank adding 58 runs.

It all changed after Jasprit Bumrah (2/36 in 14 overs) got one to straighten and trapped Asalanka leg-before.

The batters who came in after that didn’t show enough application to stick around and some of the shot selections, to say the least, were atrocious.

Niroshan Dickwella’s (2) slog sweep off Jadeja was the most indiscreet as he top-edged it to Shreyas Iyer at square leg.

Suranga Lakmal survived a DRS but soon jumped out to only offer a skier to Ashwin and then it was just a matter of time before their first innings folded.

Ashwin (2/49) and Mohammed Shami (1/27) also got their names on the wickets column with the islanders not even looking like being in the context.

Jadeja has had his 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket and there are no marks for guessing who the player of the match will be when India complete the formalities.

Promoted

In the Sri Lankan second innings, Ashwin, handed the new ball, removed Lahiru Thirimanne, who was caught by skipper Rohit at second slip.

(With PTI inputs)

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